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BLACK HELICOPTERS

EPISODE 24

FRIDAY the SEVENTH - 5:22 PM

          Meanwhile… and in elsewheres, unbeknownst…

          Doors to jails were being opened and shut behind miscreants all over town as Yvette Hall, spokesperson of the CNC’s youth/law enforcement caucus approached the climax of her diatribe onstage in Masty Hall. "So, in conclusion, this convention must say No! to racism. The Catfish rejects outrageous sentencing policies and profiling apartheid, now it's time for me to hear you! Black lives do matter!  No!... to police and judicial apartheid..."

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          The crowd shouted back and Tom Beedle lifted his voice to Glenn. "Problem solved," he winked. "Once we added the word 'citizen' after American in the resolution, Rinker said Tillerman would tag along. He's not really a racist, you know… thinks colored people are fine and dandy so long as they praise Jesus, work hard and don't go off raping and robbing and using plastic bags, chewing kat and strapping on explosive belts to blow the rest of us to Kingdom Come, take public transportation instead of driving and pouring their used motor oil, if they must drive... as a consequence of the bipartisan racist rejection of extending bullet trains to rural counties... down into the sewer through that grate in the Auto Zone parking lot instead of taking it to a recycling depot. What's deplorable about that? Americans, especially those already on the margins of society, have had a different perspective on illegal aliens since the one-six and nine-eleven.  Black lives?  Whose jobs are all those Mexicans and such coming up from God-knows-where taking away?  Not ours!  Anyway, Henri, Potter and the University... they've come to a mutual arrangement. Those local fucks won't be getting out after the convention, ain’t getting out for a long, long time. We're gonna blast them with RICO, RPA, with terrorism counts and conspiracy... you watch, someone's gonna discover stuff you can make bombs out of in dingy apartments all over this burg!  Merrick Garland’s gonna shit his pants once we get Interpol into the mix... talking to locals about a misdemeanor being a felony, but talking to foreigners about misdemeanors, that's a Class-B felony, treason, maybe, twelve to twenty years… and then they get extradited to Geneva or somewhere to face war criminal trials. And by the time those bums get out, Wat's got his projects underway, the germ splicers have set down roots, we'll all have gone to Washington to get rich and you won't be able to recognize this city."

          "Tom," Glenn objected, "this seems a little, well, unconstitutional for the Coalition?"

          "What constitution? That old piece of paper got rolled and smoked back in twenty sixteen.  This… this is the future of America… Catfish America!" Beedle smirked, slapping Glenn on the shoulder. "Our new America!  Beyond crazyness, beyond weakness.  America!  And, since we operate by the higher principle, the Golden Rule... them what invests gold gets to make rules and makes the NSA and the others and the police enforce them. Don't worry, John Q-Anon public will back us once the bullshit starts flying, our bullshit... Trump, at least, proved that by getting all those unemployed steelworkers to applaud his economic team from Goldman/Sachs… in fact, it's the main reason we have to deflect some of that civil liberties shit Jack put in his book while supporting useful causes, taking out all that indirect repression like dope laws and maybe prostitution in a few places and pick up the Bob Kraft votes, and money, and, of course, casinos everywhere!… raking in the tax revenues that used to go to foreigners, Indians and ghetto criminals… and lay down the facts. Americans like a man who speaks his mind and does what he says without any of that Democrat or Republican deviousness, even if there's nothing in that mind whatsoever... look at McCain, Jesse Ventura, Perot before he went crazy and, of course, our once and probably future President Trump.  We’re deal makers, just like him, and we are truthiests... Hitler knew that... everything he had in mind he put down on paper, so there wouldn't be any surprises, any complaints, total transparency and, remember, the Germans elected him into office..."

          "But wasn't it as Vice-Chancellor?" Glenn objected.

          "Even better, considering what I told you couple of hours ago... which you get to keep under your hat, thank you! And it'll go even better because we're not Germans, we don't kill people for no reason... just ease them out of the way and on over the county line when they mess with our plans. We're the Americans, progressive Americans... but without all of that tired old baggage of race and effeminate liberalism, just good old grit and gumption, balls to the wall.  We go all the way back to the Wild West in 1889 -  free silver and legal poker rooms and whorehouses in every town, run by a sage ol’ Madam name of Alice or Lucille, something good and American like that… with all the, you know, red velvet couches and trappings and a retired college football star at the door, one of those dark ones who blew all his advertising money on dope, then blew out a knee and never made it in the NFL. We're the good guys! We're not like Nazis, not at all!  Imagine a Trump/Tillerman ticket in November!"

          "Does our Cop on the Run know that?"

          "Tony?" The lawyer's hard, greedy features softened like a baby's clutching for candy as Hall continued stirring up Masty Hall by denouncing violent videogames, one of the favorite targets of the Catfish and his NRA peanut gallery. "Tony's a sweetheart, and he's already shmoozing up all of his Hollywood friends. It's OK... they hate all this virtual stuff too, costs them jobs, money! Remember, the Supreme Court… before the assassinations… they ruled that computer-generated so-called “actors” like that fusion of John Gielgud and Johnny Knoxville aren't eligible for residuals if fifty-one percent of the pixels are sliced off somebody dead for more than sixteen years... do the math! We are going to blow the Democrats away by stealing all their celebrities... four, six years down the road, the Republicans' too, if they're not all on respirators by then.  Not only that, Reyna’s buying up the holographic rights to Errol Flynn through channels; the Duke and Jimmy Stewart to do her hair restoration spots, the way she utilized Marilyn and Coco Chanel.  Jack's invited Senator Rock, Ted Nugent and those duck shooting guys back to Miller's Ridge for a little hunting in the fall... talk about a Dick Cheney sort of accident waiting to happen!... but we're waiting on that until his archery lessons with that babe from the Hunger Games... hey, there's Anne! What's she doing with that fuckin' loser?"

          Anne, caucusing with Paul Rinker, waved Glenn off as a messenger approached Beedle… whose face devolved from smug amusement to harrowing rage as the man explained to him whatever it was he'd said. Glenn suspected that the lawyer hadn't been so angry since learning that Pinhead, making overtures to the churches... or, more likely, acting on instructions from the Catfish to preclude any ambitious wannabe Web Woodward, Bernstein or Drudge with a camera... had ordered the local nudie clubs shut down for the duration of the Conks' convention. No more candy, no... Tom looked like he'd bitten into an apple filled with razors, poison and ground glass!

          Ignored by Anne and Beedle, Glenn swayed in one direction, then the other... feet tapping out anxious little circles on the gum and grease-stained concrete floor of Masty Hall, head stuck in that stifling nimbus that answered only to Lost!

 

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FRIDAY the SEVENTH - 5:30 PM (time approximate)

 

          When the jail deputies came for their last prisoners and... with them... the Sergeant whom Andy remembered from the late shift, all five were staring blankly at Yvonne Jackson and Tracy Parkinson at the newsdesk, wrapping up Live on Five, the only local competition to Nelson and his bunch over at Eleven since, as Andy recalled, Channel Three had pulled its evening and late news for reruns of Hogan's Heroes (that strange, campy old sitcom about a Nazi prison camp and its wisecracking prisoners).

          They unlocked and opened the metal door, standing in the dim light of jail until one deputy cleared his throat, saying "You'll come with us now."

          His prisoners said nothing, neither moving nor speaking as Tracy Parkinson began the evening's roundup on the progress of Baby Claire's fundraising.

          In two steps, the short, white-haired sergeant crossed the cell, reached for the dial, and sent Live on Five spinning off into that electronic void.

          "The charges are being dropped against all of you," the Sergeant said, "with the exception of you, Mr. Herman. The others are free to leave.  Ms. Cromartie and Mr. Morrison, you may wish to rejoin others of your, your…” he shook his head in disgust, "…there are details to be worked out with this gentleman from the Bureau of Permits."

          And, with that, Sylvester, from Disson's office manifested under his left armpit like bureaucracy's slippery underarm angel. "That is to say," he cooed, "a more reasonable arrangement may, perhaps, be negotiated. Of course, should you prefer, we'll just... how you say?... call things even, and go about our businesses?"

          Andy, slipping away from the outreaching deputies, sat down, back against the wall. "Oh. You mean I can get up, go back with you to City Hall and resume those pointless discussions with your master while the convention's already starting, so you have somebody to lay the blame on when things blow?  Worse than they’ve blown already?"

          "Andy, it's not always about you, it's peoples' safety... we have to try!" Rael appealed to Victor... "Help me get him up, I think his foot's fallen asleep!"

          The deputies shook their heads, watching, sadly, while she and Victor dragged Andy to an upright or, at least, leaning posture.

          "I liked it better when we were just waiting to be shot," he remarked, allowing himself to be herded out of the cell, past the puzzled faces of the officials.  “But hey… why not?  I’d like to get a look at Disson’s face… he beat himself up better than I ever could have done…”

          "That's ridiculous!" Rael scolded. "If you stop learning, even in jail, you've stopped learning in life! Yesterday I met the fruitarians, down from Vermont? Blew my mind! They say that... like... grain? It's murder, gluten’s bad as meat... worse, like abortion! Bread! Spaghetti! Like Mary Antoinette... you know? Let them eat cake? Besides, store bought veggies with spliced animal genes makes eating them murder, too! Murder!... all the fruitarians eat is dead fruit, naturally fallen, not picked, and from reliable and licensed trees and, first, they remove the seeds and plant them. They're so far advanced ethically that we're pathetic next to them... it's terrible, but we still have the time to learn… apologize for our sins and reform..."

          All the while she had been guiding Andy out of the cell and, once through, the deputies shut the steel door with a whoosh and a clang. From behind the metal, Andy could hear Ace, screaming his lungs out... presumably at Sylvester. "Hey! Hey! What kind of brother are you, letting them white folks go, leaving me behind. Hey... fuck you!" his screams redounded, though diminishing with every step Andy took towards freedom. "Fuck you, motherfucker! Fuck you!

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